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Our view

The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future
DANIEL KAHNEMAN – Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Changing the Conversation
21st Club presents a collection of insights for football club boardrooms

Changing the Conversation

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  • 25 Apr 2019

    Peak Tottenham

    A lot was made of Tottenham’s ‘failure’ to sign any players during the summer window. That there were no new faces adorning the club website was often seen as a sign that the club would fail to match their recent high standards.

    Yet here we are with it currently looking likely that Tottenham will virtually match […]

  • 18 Apr 2019

    Rank outsiders, deserved winners

    It has been wonderful to watch Ajax’s Champions League campaign. A thrilling ride made easy to enjoy by the positive, attacking football that has been the bedrock of their success.

    The intertwining strands of the Ajax narrative are compelling. The club has a rich history in youth development and is the custodian of some of Europe’s […]

  • 11 Apr 2019

    Lazy recruitment

    In recruitment, we value certain performances more than others. A commanding midfield display against a bottom-of-the-table team is worth less than a similar performance against a title contender. But as long as this process is subjective – and as long as we don’t know how much each performance is actually worth in terms of how […]

  • 04 Apr 2019

    The needle in the haystack

    With the ever-increasing efficiency of the football transfer market, we are more and more focused on finding undervalued talent to get an edge on our competitors. This frequently involves identifying the one hidden star in a relegated squad, the proverbial needle in the haystack.

    The problem is, headline stats can struggle to identify these unheralded […]

  • 28 Mar 2019

    Mind the gap

    As we head into the final stretch of the football season, the prospect of playing in a different league next year looms large. The only consolation for fans of relegated clubs is that they have a chance of bouncing straight back. For teams in contention for promotion or the play-offs, the dream of a place […]

  • 21 Mar 2019

    Picasso or Pythagoras?

    Computers? Anybody who uses computers doesn’t know a damn thing about this game

    Gus Lobel, the storied baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves portrayed with typical intransigence by Clint Eastwood in Trouble with the Curve, doesn’t like statistics. The general thrust of the film is that identifying talent is an art, and statistics will never match […]

  • 14 Mar 2019

    Squeaky bum time

    So we have a title race on our hands! Well, at least in the Premier League.

    Excitement in any title race lies in its inherent uncertainty, at least for those impartial onlookers. Less so perhaps for those clubs involved, where bums are likely to stay squeaky right up until the last match.

    Take the Premier League title […]

  • 21 Feb 2019

    Is the smart money on Solskjaer?

    Manchester United will have a big decision to make in the summer, and they might be able to find help from an unusual source: the betting markets.

    The odds of Premier League matches are akin to a financial market, with the smartest and well-funded professional gamblers using all the available information to predict the likelihood of […]